Sample: 10-Step Checklist for an Effective Contract Management Process

Contracts play a significant role in regulating relationships between parties, often defining the terms and conditions and consequences of not upholding them. Lawyers, whether in-house or outside counsel, are critical to managing contracts and may often find themselves taking on several roles throughout the contract lifecycle. Responsibilities can include drafting an agreement, negotiating its terms, finalizing it, monitoring its performance, helping with termination, and addressing potential breaches or other issues impeding performance.

The five stages of contract management

A well-defined contract management process can help lawyers meet the expectations of clients, management, and organizational governing bodies to deliver greater value, efficiency, transparency, and cost reduction in legal services throughout the lifecycle of a contract. While the contract lifecycle of your practice or legal department may differ, most cover these five stages:

  1. Due diligence
  2. Negotiations
  3. Execution
  4. Oversight
  5. Closure

How you approach these five contract management stages requires careful consideration of your operations, resources, and requirements. These factors should form the steps you’ll take to navigate each stage of your contract management process. The steps and, in turn, your process should enable a continuous approach to contract management.

The checklist below outlines the recommended steps to help you design an effective contract management process.

[Download our Contract Management Playbook for a template of the sample checklist below, plus more contract management essentials.]

Auditing your contract management process

The above checklist offers recommended steps to help you design an effective contract management framework, but the process you implement should reflect your organization’s individual needs. Plan on reviewing your contract management process periodically to keep it current and responsive to organizational changes. During your review, keep the following in mind:

  • Factor the process review into your annual goals each year.
  • Solicit feedback from stakeholders about how to make the process more user-friendly.
  • Consider adding visuals – such as flowcharts, checklists, and graphs – to help create understanding.
  • Add scenarios or techniques that help or reflect what can go wrong.

Experience contract simplicity with Bloomberg Law

An effective contract management process is critical for attorneys juggling multiple agreements and roles. Download the Contract Management Playbook to learn how to streamline your contract workflow and deliver greater value, efficiency, and savings.

Contract management software can help automate and simplify the contract management process. Bloomberg Law Contract Solutions solves the most pressing challenges in your contract workflow with a solution built specifically to help in-house attorneys more efficiently store, manage, draft, negotiate, and analyze contracts. Request a demo to see how Contract Solutions can solve your contract workflow challenges with AI-powered drafting, editing, and negotiating tools.

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